Parts of my internets are broken. The DNS part?

I don’t know much about computers or the internet, but I think my problem has to do with something called DNS. Sometimes when I try to view a website, I get some redirect page from Comcast saying that the page cannot be found. I realize that sometimes websites go down, but the problem usually fixes itself in a few minutes and it almost never happens when I’m at work and using a different ISP. Thus, I suspect that when my computer sends a single down the tube that connects my computer to Comcast, sometimes the signal gets lost before Comcast is able to direct it to the System of Tubes that is the Internet.

I’ve heard of people using alternate DNS servers/lists/programs/Idon’tknowwtfI’mtalkingabout/etc., and that this has resulted in goodness, but I don’t know if this applies to my particular problem.

I may be asking the wrong questions or using the wrong terminology.

I’m not sure if this is your problem, but it might very well be.
You’re looking for Google Public DNS or OpenDNS.

Ah, yes. Ye olde ISP DNS hijacking.

When a DNS server can’t find an IP address for a domain name, the standard requires it to respond with a message saying the domain name doesn’t exist, at which point your computer can provide you with a helpful error message to that effect.

Then some genius at an ISP somewhere decided that instead of conforming to this internationally standardized behavior, he would instead configure his DNS servers to point to an advertisement-laden useless putz of a web server whenever a domain name wasn’t found. Wahoo, extra money!

Here is some information about opting out of Comcast’s shitty DNS hijacking.

A better solution is probably to use an alternate DNS server. Google recently launched a free DNS service. There are also other free DNS servers out there that you can search for.

Actually, from the OP’s description the problem is that Comcast’s DNS servers are sometimes unable to resolve valid names, not that the redirect invalid names to a search page.

Yes, this is it. I can turn off the redirect if I ever learn what my Comcast username and password are. What troubles me is that the inability to “resolve valid names” occurs much more often at home than it does elsewhere. Since you say it’s Comcast’s DNS servers that are supposed to do this, I’ll check out the links that were posted. Maybe I’lll use Google’s so they can keep track of all the websites I visit :wink:

I’m having what seems to be the same DNS problem, without the redirect issue…

I use Firefox, and RoadRunner is my ISP. When I go to a website, usually one I haven’t used recently, I will frequently get a “Server Not Found” page, even if it is a very popular site (sometimes even Yahoo or Google). I will hit refresh, sometimes several times, and then the website will pop up just fine, and be fine for a while, until I don’t go there for a few hours or more.

It’s annoying as heck.

Obviously, one of the tubes sprung a leak. Time to call a plumber.